Father Gabriel starts off this mid-season premiere by either completely disappointing everyone or making some major good moves. He reflects on the bible as he stands at his post and ends up packing up a beat up car with food before leaving Alexandria. Everyone thinks he’s chickened out and he’s back to being the wuss he formerly was. However, there is a possibility that there is more to him leaving. Here’s hoping he’s decided to take a risk for the sake of Alexandria.
Rick and his crew’s first order of duty is to convince Gregory to join their cause against Negan. Gregory fears the saviors way too much to get involved in any type of betrayal. He’s always been reluctant to assist in anything. And to be honest, we’ve been lucky he’s allowed Sasha, Maggie, and Enid to stay with him as long as they did.
Rick needs more people though. The gang leaves feeling defeated, but Enid spread the word to the residents she’s become close to and quite a few are willing to join the fight. Even Carl looks at Enid like he’s proud. They are ready. Rick has a beginning to the resistance.
The plan was to head back to Alexandria, because Negan will soon find out that Darryl escaped and come looking for him. But Jesus brings out a walkie-talkie that belongs to the saviors (so they will know when Negan is on his way), and instead suggests visiting the kingdom. It’s time for Rick to meet the King.
The first thing Rick notices when he reaches Alexandria, is that they have more then enough people for a proper rebellion. The second was Morgan. First of all, Morgan lies, which I didn’t realize till I saw a clip of Lenny James on Talking dead. He tells Rick that Carol had been injured and they stayed at the kingdom until she recuperated, but then she left without saying where. He knows where. He also mentions that he had to kill a person. Rick already knows that that’s over the top for peacemaking Morgan and mentally sympathizes.
Jesus walks into Ezekiel’s auditorium to introduce the crew. But he forgets to mention the tiger, and Sasha and the rest (including Rick) stay in the entrance wide eyed and confused. Is this guy real? He’s sitting up there with a tiger and calling himself a king, I would have been bugging out too.
Once they get over Shiva’s presence, they have an official meeting with Ezekiel. Rick requests the kingdom’s help in taking down Negan. Ezekiel asks Morgan what he thinks. Why? No idea. Maybe it’s because he knows he’s a conditioned fighter that has self control and will not do anything drastic. This is also when Morgan hears that Abe, Glenn, Olivia, and some others were killed. Rick emphasized that they had their heads beaten to a pulp. Morgan still asks if there is another way without starting a war. Like maybe taking Negan prisoner.
Rick and Michonne close their eyes in exasperation. I mean, again Morgan? They tell you that Negan’s network is bigger then verizon’s and they are violent and you still want to play nice? No one mentioned to Morgan that the followers are all Negan.
Rick ends his plea with an analogy about a stone. Rick’s fables coming to a Barnes and Noble near you.
Ezekiel says he’ll sleep on it and in the morning give them his answer.
Benjamin, one of the young members of the kingdom in training, heads out into the woods to practice. He wants to be better at defending himself. He sees Carol in the woods and almost shoots her thinking she’s a walker. She’s as rude as she’s been to most youngis on the show lately. He advises her not to leave because he’s close to Ezekiel and knows that he cares about her well being. He will send people out to check on her.
I don’t know if Carol was somewhat flattered, but she looked a little pleased to me. Maybe she’s starting to like the King.
When Benjamin gets back, Ezekiel has taken over his duty of telling bedtime stories to children. He tells Ezekiel about Carol and then gives him some advice on the Rick situation. He tells him that if they don’t join Rick, he will go about trying to eliminate the saviors alone without a good chance of winning. And if they do join Rick, they will all be saved. The chances of the victory are greater if they join Rick. But most importantly, Benjamin tells him that his father had told him that if you are called to be a hero, then you must answer the calling. The people of the kingdom are ready, he says.
Even though Ezekiel is proud of the young guy, he turns Rick down the next morning. Ezekiel watched alot of people die against walkers to create the life he built for his community. He doesn’t want to lose more parents and children. I think Benjamin’s father was one of the people that died for the cause, so Benjamin’s words didn’t convince Ezekiel to go and join Rick. It did the opposite.
Next day, Ezekiel turns down the offer to go against the saviors but says that Darryl can stay in the kingdom if he likes. Negan does not–or should I say–is not allowed, to enter the kingdom. He has a contract with Ezekiel to make pick ups at a designated location.
Being that Darryl isn’t safe anywhere and Negan will want to kill him, if not beat him worse then he did before, the kingdom is his only refuge. Darryl looks at Rick like a toddler being left at daycare, when Rick tells him to stay. But Rick is right, the kingdom is the safest place for Darryl right now. We find out quick how true that really is.
Negan’s voice comes over Jesus’ walkie and you hear him tell one of his cronies to head over to Alexandria to check for Darryl. The gang heads back and leaves Darryl behind.
They’re leaving the kingdom, to the sound of Negan paying homage to fat Joey over the walkie, and they’re stopped by a line of parked cars on the highway. Don’t worry, they’re empty. They’re meant to keep back a horde of walkers and was set up by the saviors. Also, the savior headquarter is visible from where they are and it looks like they were trying to stop anyone from showing up over there.
After re-parking the cars, they find a line of wire with multiple sticks of dynamite, bombs made with gasoline, and batteries. Rick sees the dynamite and salivates: they need to have them. I get where he’s going with this. Dynamite will help against the saviors, but the risk…
Rosita, who was formerly in the army or something, gets to remove the dynamite. She gives instructions on how to collect the pieces and hope not to blow each other up. They were down to the last few sticks, when the herd finally became visible on the highway.
Rick and Michonne finish the job and get into two different cars connected by the wire. They drive toward the herd and slice half of the zombies in half. Then a dynamite stick they discarded, because Rosita felt it looked suspicious, blew up. I’ve been waiting all season for something like this.
Then it’s back to Alexandria. Just when Rick is walking through the entrance, Simon arrives with trucks loaded with saviors. They ask about Darryl and Rick pretends he didn’t know he escaped. Simon checks everyone’s homes, destroying anything in his path. Simon notices the empty shelves (empty because of Gabriel) and makes some smart remarks about their possessions. He isn’t there for a pickup but will be there soon.
Aaron makes some lies about them adjusting to the pickups and their personal needs. Michonne tells Simon that they will do something. But she’s really alluding to killing them.
The saviors don’t find Darryl and they warn Rick to alert them if he does show up– whenever he shows up. They will kill Darryl.
Meanwhile, Sasha tried to have some pleasant chatter with Rosita about the King saying no to their proposal, and she gets a whole lot of attitude. Rosita tells her that just cause they had sex with the same dead guy, it doesn’t mean their friends. Well, excuse me. I thought she was over that already.
Finally, Tobin reports to Rick that Gabriel left his post and a lot of supplies are missing. Everyone is ready to kick Gabriel to the corner, but Rick says there’s another reason because that’s not like Gabriel. That’s what I said! I know he was spineless in the past, but he’s been too strong for him to go back.
Rick finds Gabe’s bible on the floor, you know, the one he would never leave without. Clue#1
He also finds the words BOAT written in the back of the supply book, Gabriel had looked at. #Clue #2
Aaron and Rick theorize that Gabriel was referring to the boat that they found most of their supplies at, a few episodes ago. So they go back to the boat and find foot prints. They follow it to an area with cars and an overgrowth of vegetation. That’s when a whole gang of people pop out with weapons and Rick smiles.
Here’s the theory: When Aaron and Rick were at the BOAT looking for supplies there was someone else there. Remember they were being followed? I think that Gabriel was following them for GOD knows what reason. In being nosy, he met a new group of people. They probably found him skulking around and approached him. Somehow Gabriel left and went back to Alexandria. But he never told anyone about the encounter.
What if the food and weapons are to make a deal with this new gang? Maybe Gabriel decides to risk making a deal to increase the group’s size and their chances against Negan?
And Rick’s smile? Well he just found himself a whole new army of recruits. This is wonderful.
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